Definitions for melanesiaˌmɛl əˈni ʒə, -ʃə
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word melanesia
the islands in the southwestern part of Oceania
Part of Oceania, made up of New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.
Origin: From μέλας + νῆσος, referring to the skin color of the inhabitants.
Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. The region comprises the countries of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and Papua New Guinea; besides these independent countries, Melanesia also includes New Caledonia, a special collectivity of France, and the region of West Papua which is the location of two provinces of Indonesia, Papua and West Papua. The name Melanesia was first used by Jules Dumont d'Urville in 1832 to denote an ethnic and geographical grouping of islands distinct from Polynesia and Micronesia.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
eleven archipelagoes of crystalline, coralline, and volcanic islands in the W. of Polynesia, all S. of the equator, and inhabited by the Melanesian or dark oceanic race; includes the Fiji, Solomon, Bismarck, and New Hebrides islands.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
The collective name for the islands of the Pacific Ocean northeast of Australia, including NEW CALEDONIA; VANUATU; New Hebrides, Solomon Islands, Admiralty Islands, Bismarck Archipelago, FIJI, etc. Melanesia (from the Greek melas, black + nesos, island) is so called from the black color of the natives who are generally considered to be descended originally from the Negroid Papuans and the Polynesians or Malays. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p748 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p344)
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